Crawford River Riesling – a vertical tasting

Situated in Henty in the remote South West corner of Victoria on the border of South Australia’s Limestone Coast, Crawford Estate, together with Seppelt (Drumborg Riesling), may be under the radar in the UK but they have been making superb Riesling for some 30 years. A southerly latitude and maritime influence account for their intense minerally concentration of flavour and excellent acid retention. Interestingly, the 2000 and 2001 vintages were both corked – no coincidence that this was around the time that Clare Valley producers notably Jeffrey Grosset successfully pressed the case for screwcap.

Crawford River Riesling 2007 – slightly muscat note to nose with warmer vintage powder puff notes to nose and palate – this has quite a big mouthfeel. Still it has a good spine of acid with a mineral edge to its grapefruit and lime; good length.

Crawford River Riesling 2006 – lifted, sherbety, citrus nose with pithy grapefruit and apple palate, some talc hints with an undertow of slate.

Crawford River Reserve Riesling 2006 – good concentration, stony mineral character with a broadness/ripeness here with its stone fruit, Bickfords lime cordial and honey; lots of power and good balancing acidity.

Crawford River Riesling 2005 – gunsmoke and green tea nose – a great melange of mineral and herbal characters with gentle applely fruit and persistent acidity carrying a long, mineral finish – very fine.

Crawford River Reserve Riesling 2005 – kaffir lime nose and palate this is very lively but with tons of power and a sweet, spicy edge to its citrus flavours; long.

Crawford River Riesling 2004 – crystal clear citrus and pith nose and palate; long and tight – very good.

Crawford River Reserve Riesling 2004 – distinctly salty character with crisp apple and grapefruit, this is tight and youthful – needs time to unfurl.

Crawford River Riesling 2003 – juicy core of grapefruit, sweet cordial edge, mouthwatering finish, good length with some flesh too; attractive dusty mineral note.

Crawford River Reserve Riesling 2003 – concentrated apple and grapefruit flavours with hints of lime, lime zest and honey delivered in a lively, tight stream; super vibrant.

Crawford River Riesling 2002 – (first wine under screwcap) very lifted, spicy peach and grapefruit, floral character – very Pfalz with a twist of fennel.

Crawford River Riesling 1998
– quite developed with honey, toast and an earthy porcini note, however pelucid acidity carries a long, mineral finish. V good.

Crawford River Riesling 1997
– round with buttery peach and honey cut with a racy thread of limey acidity; quite crisp acid on finish.

Crawford River Riesling 1996 – tight citrus nose and palate- v youthful, tight, steely,mineral acidity -ticking over v nicely showing lime with the merest hint of toast; lovely mouthsluicing acidty; v fine.

Crawford River Riesling 1995 – tight, crisp acidity, applely.

Crawford River Riesling 1994 – initially developed with some earthy porcini and tangy cheesy notes but opens out to show grapefruit and spice; long with elegant acidity.

Crawford River Riesling 1993 – lifted, talc hints, subtle Bickfords lime cordial to the nose. The palate shows plenty of complexity and a powerfully stony, minerality with lime zest and a pithy spiciness to its finish; long and persistent.

Crawford River Riesling 1992 – very limpid on nose, delicate Bickfords lime cordial, very complete, good life to this with a stony minerality, limes on toast and steely grapefruit acidity; spicy, long, impressive.

Crawford River Riesling 1991 – smoky, toasty lime, more body/honeyed than others, more obviously developed.

Crawford River Riesling 1990
– very peachy nose with toasty, honeyed notes, almost a caremelised edge – roast peach with dried herbs. Complex, touch syrupy.

Crawford River Riesling 1989 – herb with mossy notes (but attractive); very lively acidity still really carries this one, revealing layers of lime, lime zest, a very sophisticated (fancy flower) honey…long, complex lots of life yet…

Sarah Ahmed
The Wine Detective
17 July 2008

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